Once upon a time there was a girl and a boy.
His face is all boy when he looks at her--twinkling eyes that belie his age and lips that curl in mischievous affection. It doesn't matter whether anyone else is in the room; he's laser-focused on his bride.
At 71, he still buys her perfume and lingerie. And she uses it...for him.
She's steel magnolia, Southern, feminine, strong and beautiful, and she could cook a a feast blindfolded with an arm tied behind her back. She's coy when asked if he's the only man she's ever kissed; he's confident he is but I'm left with a shred of doubt.
She was the May Queen, after all.
Regardless, there's no question she only has eyes for him. Over 50 years wed and they still hold hands when they walk.
Their courtship began at 14, six years later they married. They were practically babies.
Their family eventually grew four boys strong and many years later I would marry their first born.
* * * * *
For some reason, he decided to travel back in time the other day, a trip to the attic.
I find it on a chest in their den, an accessory that tells a story.
Hairpin still tangled in tulle touches me. There's a sweetness to this sliver of neglect that stirs questions as to "Why?" I can't help but silently giggle at the thought of Sarah in a rush to honeymoon. After six years of dating, I think she was as ready as he was!
The netting for her headpiece is long gone. "I didn't know you could preserve it," she tells me, "but we wouldn't have had the money even if I had known." It's a lament, but I find her veil more beautiful because of its aging. Almost 51 years separate the then and the now, and these tatters and touches of time symbolize the years lived in the in-between.
Age is the price we pay for life...and it's worth it!
Sarah means "princess"--oh, how it suits her.
Her prince would agree.
And they're still living happily ever after.